MILANO – Instagram is nowadays the ideal platform for whoever wants to share their passion, and books make no exception on this. Bronte Huskinson, alias Bookishbronte, is a 21yo British instagrammer who – in her own words – «can’t remember a time in her life when there wasn’t a pen or a book in her hand». Instagram gave her the possibility to put together both her passions, books and photography, and now her 52k follower profile is a full-time occupation. We asked her to tell our readers her experience with social media. (You can find the Italian translation here)
How did you come up with the idea of using your Instagram profile in order to express your passion for books?
I have always wanted to become an author for as long as I can remember. I’ve always been a massive bookworm too. I stumbled across the ‘Bookstagram’ accidentally and found a community where everyone shares their passion for books. I originally created an Instagram dedicated to books in order to create an audience for when I published my own, but subsequently I found a passion for photography as well.
Here in Italy only 4 young people out to 10 read books. How about the situation in the UK? How can we make people get closer to this world?
In 2015 it was found that almost half of young people do not read for pleasure. I think part of the problem is that many people are not reading the right books for them and therefore are not reading at all. There’s so many books out there that people are not aware of! Being part of the book community on Instagram has also made me read a lot more as I’ve been surrounded by so many books. I’m not suggesting that everyone should make an Instagram dedicated to books but it certainly helped me!
Your Instagram name is “Bookishbronte”. Why did you choose this name for your profile?
It took such a long time to come up with that name! I think the alliteration makes it sound really catchy and not easily forgettable and it also sums me up perfectly!
There are a lot of Instagram profiles about books, but people usually decide not to appear in the photos. Your profile is different because you are present in each photos with your books. Why did you decide to start taking such photos?
Because I found that taking photos of books without me in them was really boring. (I’m not narcissistic I promise!) But for me, being in the photos is part of the fun and I find it extremely limiting for my creativity to not be in them. When I first started my Instagram account, I would post so many photos without me in them, but they never got as good engagement as the ones of me in the photos. So I guess that’s part of the answer as well.
What do you think about social media as a tool to express such a passion?
I think social media is such a great way to express your passion because you can reach such a wide audience – thousands of people can see your work daily which to me is astonishing! Social media is getting a bit of a bad rep these days for being damaging to people’s mental health, but for me I’ve found the opposite to be true. I only follow people who inspire me. Because of the people I follow, my creativity has flourished, and I’ve become so much more conscious of environmental issues. I’ve even changed the way I shop and the way I eat to be more sustainable and I never would have even thought to have done that if I wasn’t on Instagram!
How do you create engagement with your followers?
Of course, you have to post photos that appeal to your audience but that is only the first step of many. I try to be in my stories as much as I can to give my followers a glimpse into my life and I also make my captions as easy as possible to engage with. I tend to always ask a question related to the photo to generate a conversation. My captions are always pretty lengthy, you’ll never find one that’s just one line!